Sunday, September 5, 2010

Atmosphere 2

Greetings from Milwaukee.
After our game/telecast on Friday night, I wrote about how important atmosphere is to the success of the telecast.
The fans in the stands Friday night created the atmosphere that led to a quality telecast.
Today's game/telecast also included an atmosphere that was the main ingredient to this successful show.
However, this atmosphere was created in a different way than the electric atmosphere of Friday night.
Friday night's atmosphere was created by the fans.
Today's atmosphere was created by a player.
In the bottom of the 6th inning with the Reds leading 2-1, Matt Holliday was at the plate with two runners on and a 3-2 count. He fouled off a couple of fastballs and then the Reds' pitcher, Homer Bailey, threw a curveball which Holliday barely fouled off. The foul ball struck the catcher in the groin area and the flow of the game was slowed as the catcher shook off the effects of the foul ball.
(Before the curveball, I noticed that Bailey was shaking of the catcher's signal for a fastball - twice.)
When play was resumed, the catcher kept putting down one finger (they were using the first sign in the sequence) and Bailey kept shaking off the fastball. The catcher called time, went to the mound, and talked to Bailey.
I read Homer Bailey's lips, "I don't want a fastball", is what he said to the catcher. The catcher continued to plead his case and then went back to his position behind the plate. Bailey shook off the first sign for a fastball, the second sign for a fastball, and then finally agreed to throw that particular pitch.
Holliday hit a 3-run homerun and the Cardinals held on to win 4-2.
Up to that at-bat, there was no atmosphere in Busch Stadium.
The ballpark was downright quiet.
Totally different from Friday night when the place was electric from the first pitch on.
One swing of the at-bat changed that.
Busch Stadium was on fire.
The place was buzzing.
I knew the Cardinals would win that game when Busch Stadium came alive.
It doesn't matter if the fans create the atmosphere or the players.
There is nothing better for the television crew then when the ballpark is rocking!

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